Departing from Cairns just made this cruise even better as it is such a wonderful place to explore in its own right & so close to the north so sailing days were down to one each way.
PNG is a reasonably new destination to discover & by doing it with P&O you get the most best of both worlds. Cruising & land excursions. New islands to discover and snorkel at and enjoy the locals and all they have to offer. Tender boats are used to get you from the ship to the shore so sometimes the weather isn’t ideal & landing are prohibited. It is something to know when taking the cruises to PNG that you may not always get to the island destination that are listed. Any excursion costs are always refunded if not able to be taken due to the weather.
We are fortunate enough to see all island destinations. Alotau was our first stop & we experienced an amazing local families home & lifestyle. A little more expensive than other tours but well worth the experience. It is always interesting to see how others live and theirs is such a wonderful simple life where family is the key. Our next 3 stops were small local islands were the whole village would come out to greet us. Swimming & playing with the kids & the opportunity to buy some of their local wears. Great shells & woven bags & baskets along with many different wooden items. Schools would come together to sing to us & help make our days some of the best.
The waters are so so clear and the water life is amazing so don’t forget your snorkel & fins as well as your reef shoes, as most of the locations are surrounded by coral reefs, so it can be a little prickly to walk through. This was some of the very best snorkelling I have ever experienced. The 3 islands we went to were Kitava Island, Kiriwana Island & the privately-owned Conflict Island. We were told by our ship’s captain that our day on Conflict Island was the first time in the last 5 cruises that they are able to take us over. Hence there need to know that it’s not always possible to venture off.
Pacific Eden is a amazing ship as a recently renovated ship from the Holland America fleet. The cabin sizes are generous right through from interior to balcony cabins & then there are the suites & one penthouse that is just to die for. There is a shower over the bath in the cabins along with a lounge in most as a standard.
The facilities onboard are just as impressive. So many different nocks to hide yourself in if you want or bars to enjoy the fun & a drink. The entertainment is no stop with different musical talents from noon to late, trivia for everyone, the mandatory bingo & loads of other activities. The stage entertainment is original & full of colour & life. Magicians, dancers, comedy shows just to name a few.
As with all P&O cruises there is the Bianco night on pool deck with music & dancing, the Gatsby night & Back to School for everyone to dress up & enjoy. These nights are always so much fun for all ages & you can dress up & join in or just come along the dance the night away. The boutique onboard will also have items for you to purchase just in case you need that little something extra to complete your outfit.
Pacific Eden also has the upgraded Pantry instead of the buffet style dining room on the Lido deck & the Waterfront Restaurant as well as Angelo’s & Dragon Lady all included in your price. There is the option of an additional restaurant that is extra cost in the Salt Restaurant. $45 per person for a wonderful 5-6 course meal. Well worth the value if you get the chance.
Amazing is the best way for me to describe this particular cruise. Great for groups, families, couples & families. As with all cruises there really is something for everyone to enjoy - and plenty of friends to make!